Disclaimer: Once again, I do not own DragonLance or any of its characters. I just read the books.

Cold Blood
Chapter Four

Dalamar sat on the edge of the stone fountain of the Tower of Wayreth. He had arrived early and the Conclave was not yet assembled. This suited him fine. He still needed to straighten his thoughts about the Death Knight and what his Shalafi had told him...

_

"Shalafi...what...what was that?" Dalamar asked, striding into the study after Soth had disappeared, trying to look more energetic than he felt.

"Lord Soth." Raistlin leaned against the Staff of Magius and coughed. Once the coughing subsided and he had wiped the blood from his lips, Raistlin continued. "A Death Knight, who is loyal to my sister...Or so they say."

Dalamar decided to ignore the last part of Raistlin's statement. "But...but why would your sister send a Death Knight to kill you?"

"Kill me?" Raistlin chuckled dryly. "No, apprentice, he wasn't sent here to murder me. My sister always liked to be in control, to have Caramon and I held tightly in her fist. She probably sent him here to frighten me. To "remind me of my place". No doubt his dagger would have stopped just a mere hair's breadth from my back."

Dalamar stood still, barely shaking as he tried to reign in the feeling of anxiety that was rearing up in him. Something didn't seem right with his Shalafi's explanation. "Then...if you knew that your death wasn't in his intent, then why did you strike back against him?"

Raistlin sighed. The irritation in it was obvious. "I did it to show my sister that while she has dragons, hordes of men, and a Death Knight under her sway, she does not have me. I do not answer to her and I never will."

Raistlin swept past his shocked apprentice and out the door. Dalamar shivered and went over once again what his master had told him. Then he remembered that he was expected somewhere. But Dalamar could not shake the feeling that Lord Soth had been after something more than frightening Raistlin.

_

Dalamar trailed his fingers over the calm surface of the fountain's water and frowned. He knew he should believe his Shalafi's explanation without question, but he couldn't help it. But he didn't know what he could possibly do about it anyway.

Dalamar jumped as he felt something tap him on the shoulder. He turned his head to see a floating, disembodied hand hovering near him. It beckoned to him, floated a short distance away, and beckoned again. Dalamar smiled to himself and followed after the hand. It was time for his report.

After traveling up many floors, Dalamar arrived at the large double doors that led to the Conclave. He bowed curtly to the hand. It waved its fingers at him then disappeared. The elf then turned to the doors and threw them open to reveal the chamber on the other side and the representatives of all three Robes. Dalamar came to stand before Par- Salian. He bowed and the arch-mage inclined his head in return.

"Dalamar," Par-Salian said. "What news of Raistlin and of his workings?"

"Par-Salian," Dalamar returned. 'Since I last came here, nothing of interest has happened. That was the case...until tonight. Just tonight, my Shalafi told me of a plan he is about to hatch."

"Plan?" Par-Salian's brow furrowed as he frowned. "What is this 'plan'?"

Dalamar smiled inwardly to himself. "Using information from Fistandilatus and of his own findings, my Shalafi plans to search for the spell-book of Nuitari."

This news brought forth many different reactions from the Conclave. Black-robed mages were furiously whispering among one another; the White Robes were looking horror-struck. Those of the order of the Red Robes were glancing at each other. One lone figure on Par-Salian's right stood and faced Dalamar.

"Impossible!" Justarious barked. His face was twisted into a scowl. He glared down his nose at the dark elf before him. "If your master is referring to that old myth about the gods of magic-"

"He is," Dalamar said coldly, cutting off Justarious. "If he and Fistandilatus, the greatest mages to ever learn magic, believe it to be true, then so do I."

What happened next, Dalamar was sure was just a trick of the light played upon his eyes. For the smallest of moments, it seemed as if Justarious was smiling. Dalamar blinked and it was gone. Par-Salian rested his hand on the Red-robed mage's arm and Justarious sat back down with an irritated grunt. Dalamar shook his head to clear the image out.

"Is something wrong, Dalamar Nightson?" Par-Salian inquired.

"No, no." The elf switched his gaze back to the old arch-mage. "I am just fine, thank you."

Ladonna leaned forward in her chair. "And what about yourself, Dalamar? Do you plan to follow Raistlin on this crazy scheme of his? You're a talented mage. I'd hate to lose you."

Dalamar smiled sardonically. "As a matter of fact, I do plan to accompany my Shalafi. And I have no intention of dying. I have complete faith in my Shalafi and in my own skills."

Ladonna returned Dalamar's smile sadly. "This...is your decision then?"

"It is."

"So be it." She leaned back in her chair and regarded him closely. "Your master doesn't worry for his tower?"

"The Tower will be guarded by creatures who are commanded to let no one enter." Dalamar leveled his gaze and stared meaningfully at Par- Salian. "They will let no one enter the Tower while we are gone."

Par-Salian raised his hand in a peaceful gesture. "I understand. If that is all you have to report, then you may be dismissed."

Dalamar started to turn, then abruptly stopped. Images floated unbidden into his mind. Blackened armor; a dagger falling toward Raistlin's unprotected back... "No." Dalamar turned back to face the Conclave. "No. That is not all that I have to report."

The Conclave listened intently as Dalamar told the story of Lord Soth entering the Tower of Palanthas. When he finished, many glances were exchanged between the mages before him. Par-Salian met Dalamar's eyes squarely. "You believe that this was an attempt upon your Shalafi's life?"

"...Yes." Dalamar knew he should accept Raistlin's explanation of what happened. He knew he should. But he couldn't. The feeling that there was something more to it kept gnawing at him.

"But it is very likely that Raistlin has it correct," Ladonna countered.

Dalamar opened his mouth to reply when Justarious spoke up. "But, then again, maybe Dalamar is right. It could easily be either one. We don't know which is the truth. So this is what I propose: we do nothing."

"What?" Dalamar and Par-Salian asked in unison. Both stared at Justarious.

Justarious's lips twitched in a slight smile. "Why waste our time if it isn't an assignation attempt? But if it is true, that Lord Soth was in fact trying to kill Raistlin, he will undoubtedly try again."

"Then what will you do?" Dalamar shouted. He felt angry and frustrated. His Shalafi's life was in question and not one of them cared!

"Nothing. If he dies, that will take away one of the largest worries that is set upon our shoulders."

Ladonna slowly spoke up. "He has become quite a problem...Maybe it is for the best."

Par-Salian looked from Justarious to Ladonna. Dalamar couldn't read his expression. It seemed to him that the arch-mage was torn; to protect Raistlin or let him die. Par-Salian looked down at his laced fingers. "Is this the will of the Conclave?" he asked finally.

A chorus of agreement rang from all three orders, only a few remaining silent. Justarious's voice was among the loudest. Par-Salian sighed and looked up at the elf in front of him. "There is our answer, Dalamar Nightson. You are dismissed." There was a note of finality in his voice.

For a moment, Dalamar couldn't move. His frustration threatened to spill out from him. He took a deep breathe and held his emotions inside as he learned in his days as a servitor. He turned on his heel and strode out of the chamber, black robes flying behind him. Once outside, Dalamar slammed the doors shut with all his strength borne out of anger.

End of Chapter Four

I updated! HaHA!! I know, I took forever. I thank you all who reviewed!! I've been receiving such good ones and its blowing my mind right now! Please review again for this chapter!
(To Dalamar Nightson (in response to her review): Um, yeah, about Dal's wounds...^^' To tell you the truth, I started writing this before I even finished "Time of the Twins". So I plead ignorance for that chapter. I wrote it before I read "War of the Twins" and found out that his wounds are ever-bleeding and can't be healed. However, I have now finished the whole Legends trilogy. Please forgive me!)